Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Texas Stars Are 2014 Calder Cup Champions on Nemeth's Beauty Goal

Patrik Nemeth scores a beauty of an overtime series clinching goal; Morin wins playoff MVP
Credit: Colin Peddle
The Texas Stars' fifth season was one for the history books. The storybook season came to a storybook end with a Calder Cup win tonight in St. John's. After Travis Morin scored all three game winners in the series up to now, it was an extremely unlikely candidate ending this one in overtime: Patrik Nemeth.

Only his fifth North American professional goal ended the 2013-14 season in the fourteenth minute of the first overtime period. It was a beauty of a goal that ended the series. The defensive defenseman stepped past St. John's Jordan Hill and backhand roofed one past the glove hand of Michael Hutchinson.

The Stars flooded the ice as the team celebrated its first Calder Cup in franchise history. Travis Morin, who had 22 points in 21 games this playoffs, won the Jack A Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP. It was the first time since 2008 that the regular season MVP also won the playoff MVP trophy.

Captain Maxime Fortunus accepted the Calder Cup from Dave Andrews. He passed it to Travis Morin, who passed it to veteran Derek Meech and beyond to Dustin Jeffrey, Cameron Gaunce and Cristopher Nilstorp. The goalie stepped up to stop 33 of 36 shots, winning his second professional championship.

Nemeth celebrates the GWG (Credit: Colin Peddle)
Mike Hedden opened the scoring for the Stars late in the first period. Brett Ritchie sent the puck up the right wing side to Hedden, who pulled it from his backhand to his forehand to go high glove on Hutchinson for the 1-0 lead. It was a tough goal for St. John's as they had played well in the period to keep Texas off the board but gave up the tally with 68 seconds left in the frame.

Hedden's goal was just the sixth shot of the night. Though it spanned the intermission, the Stars scored on their very next shot. Brett Ritchie sent in a knuckler that even he probably didn't expect to go in. With two defenders on him at the blue line, the shot appeared to catch Hutchinson off guard and went in blocker side high. It was a 2-0 lead for the Stars and they were feeling pretty good. They had scored on two of seven shots to that point.

The IceCaps turned the tide in the second half of the middle frame. From the point and through traffic, Jordan Hill beat Nilstorp for the 2-1 score. Six minutes later, the IceCaps would take advantage of a power play though it wouldn't show on the scoreboard. Just as Chris Mueller rejoined the team on the ice, Zach Redmond put a pass on the tape of Josh Lunden through a mess of sticks and legs. Lunden popped it in off the left wing side low with no one on him.

Texas needed to play a measured game heading into the third period. Just do what they do and they would find success. The Stars were 5-0 when tied after two periods coming into the game.

Looking for the D-to-D pass in the period's sixth minute, Jamie Oleksiak put the puck right on the stick of Blair Riley with no one near him. Riley lifted it over Nilstorp for the 3-2 lead on the bad pass. With their chances to close things out dwindling, Mike Hedden stepped up again. Justin Dowling passed the puck into the slot off the left wing side. The IceCaps defender popped the puck up into the air with his stick and into the body of Hedden. Off his left hand, which was gripped over the stick, Hedden knocked a rainbow of a puck over Hutchinson for the three all tie. The goal went to review but the call stood, despite the protestations of St. John's.

Overtime was fast and frenetic for Texas and St. John's. The two combined for 18 shots in the extra period. Nemeth was the OT hero. He burned Jordan Hill on the play and roofed one over Hutchinson for the 4-3 win and the Calder Cup championship. It was a yard sale as the Stars shed their gloves and helmets to dogpile Nemeth in the corner.

Texas will return home tomorrow and celebrate its win with its fans on Thursday.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Ranford
Glennie-Mueller-Jeffrey
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Henderson-Faksa-Stransky

Jokipakka-Nemeth
Gaunce-Oleksiak
Meech-Fortunus

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Robinson, Labrie, Guptill, Troock, Hulak, Vause, Wrenn, Byström, Desrosiers, Peters (scratched)
Klingberg, Petersen (injury)

"One of the trademarks of an elite organization is their ability to train and develop players in a winning environment," said Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill. "The Texas Stars have done a great job with all of these facets this season and I know firsthand that the rewards from winning the Calder Cup will have a profoundly positive impact for each of our prospects and our team in Dallas as we move forward. We congratulate Scott White, as well as Willie Desjardins, the players and the rest of the Texas Stars staff for an outstanding season."

Today's attendance was 6,287.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at St. John's - June 17 2014

5 comments:

  1. Awesome win! This season has been so much fun! Way to go Stars! Let's do it again next year.

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  2. 2014 Calder Cup Champs! Hell Yeah! I knew after we whooped up on Grand Rapids & Toronto, that this was ours for the taking! Great run boys, thanks for bringing it home!

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  3. Congrats to the Stars on their well deserved victory. That's a fantastic team that you guys have down there. I wish it could have been otherwise, but in the end I think that the team that played the best was the team that won.

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    1. It really was a good series for being 4 games to 1. A couple of bounces going the other way and this could have been reversed or at least be 3-2 coming back to Texas.

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  4. Congrats, Stars! Glad you won!

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